By Judy Kurtz
Tina Fey: I'm not endorsing so I don't get hit up for donations
Tina Fey says there’s a simple reason she won’t publicly endorse a presidential candidate in this year’s election: She doesn’t want anyone hitting her up for campaign donations.
“If I have [made a 2016 pick], it’s private,” Fey said with a smile, “because then people will try to get money from me. That’s my money!”
ITK caught up with the “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” alum Tuesday at the Washington premiere of her new dark comedy film “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” at the United States Navy Memorial.
Fey plays a reporter who heads to a war zone on assignment. The film, produced by Fey and “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels, is based on journalist Kim Barker’s 2011 book, “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Fey, famous for her crushing portrayal of 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, says that since leaving “SNL,” she hasn’t had to follow primary night coverage and the presidential debates with as much intensity.
“I watch most of the debates,” Fey, 45, explained, “but when you’re watching them to look for jokes, you’re watching them really intently and with a different eye than when you’re just a voter.”
The eight-time Emmy Award winner quipped: “Just by watching ‘The Today Show’ every morning, I’m getting a certain funnel of the political drama.”
But, she continued, “I was definitely smarter and more knowledgeable about politics when I was at ‘Saturday Night Live.’ ”
A slew of real-life politicians has hit the “SNL” stage over the years — Democratic presidential candidates Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonScarborough rips Johnson for being 'completely ignorant' State Department to process thousands of pages of Clinton emails by Election Day Aide: Trump ‘gracious’ for not mentioning Bill Clinton infidelities MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersVulnerable NH Republican ties reelection bid to Trump Overnight Finance: Congress poised to avoid shutdown | Yellen defends Fed from Trump | Why Obama needs PhRMA on trade Trump mocks Clinton for stumbling while sick with pneumonia MORE made cameos this season, and GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpScarborough rips Johnson for being 'completely ignorant' Demand skyrocketing for Donald Trump impersonators Lewandowski no longer receiving severance from Trump campaign MORE guest hosted in November — but Lorne Michaels was mum on whether the sketch comedy show would tap any other political figures in the coming weeks.
“I think, literally, we don’t know week-to-week,” Michaels said. “I can tell you what we’re doing for the next two weeks in March.”
Some lawmakers and VIPs might have been trying out their best material for Michaels, though, on Tuesday at the screening hosted by Paramount Pictures and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA): Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden; Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryRussian general says Moscow is ready to restart Syria talks Overnight Defense: Congress overrides Obama 9/11 veto | Pentagon breathes easy after funding deal | More troops heading to Iraq McCain, Graham mock Kerry's threat to end talks with Russia MORE; MPAA Chairman and former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.); Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownDemocrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Brent Budowsky: Sanders and Warren shine Lawmakers play catch-up as smartphone banking surges MORE (D-Ohio), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerDems gain upper hand on budget Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (D-Calif.), Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowMichigan Dems highlight Flint with unanimous opposition to CR How Congress averted shutdown Senate passes funding bill to avoid shutdown MORE (D-Mich.), Al FrankenAl FrankenOvernight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Overnight Regulation: Supporters push for TV box reforms ahead of vote Leahy wants Judiciary hearing on Yahoo MORE (D-Minn.) and Jim RischJim RischGOP to Obama: Sanction Chinese entities to get to North Korea Research: Infrastructure systems easy to hack, a little slow to patch Republicans root for Pence as VP MORE (R-Idaho); and Reps. Adam SchiffAdam SchiffWH tried to stop Intel Dems' statement on Russian hacking: report Week ahead: Election hacks, Yahoo breach in the spotlight Overnight Tech: Pressure builds ahead of TV box vote | Intel Dems warn about Russian election hacks | Spending bill doesn't include internet measure MORE (D-Calif.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) were all eyed among the crowd at the exclusive event.
While Fey remained tight-lipped about which of the current crop of White House hopefuls she’d get behind, she did encourage a certain political outsider to run.
“Baba Booey,” she offered, referring to the nickname for radio host Howard Stern’s longtime producer, Gary Dell’Abate.
“It’s his time,” chimed in “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” screenwriter Robert Carlock. “He’s been waiting in the wings.”
“America needs more Baba Booey,” Fey added.